The Pantheon still amazes nearly 2,000 years on
Exploring the cities of Europe, you will find endless varieties of amazing architecture, from humble homes to unrivalled shows of extravagance.
My most recent adventure was a few days spent with my family in Rome, enjoying a city deeply rich in culture and history. And while there is much about the Italian capital to love and report back about, I think the Pantheon deserves a blog all of its own.
It’s not easy standing head and shoulders above all else in a city which was once the centre of the known world and still houses some of the most culturally significant locations of modern times, such as the Vatican.
But I have never before seen such a stunning example of human ambition, ingenuity and achievement.
Around the outside stand 24 columns, which weigh 80 tonnes each and had to be transported all the way from Egypt using a clever underwater system.
The enormous, 142 ft roof was constructed without any visible support or reinforcements. A 25 ft aperture at the top provided the building’s only light source, which would no doubt have been an even more incredible sight when all of its original treasures will still on display.
The Roman empire may not have lasted, but many of its ideas and innovations did.
Not only did they invent concrete, which remains one of the most versatile and durable construction materials, but the Pantheon’s dome is still the largest cast-concrete construction in the world.
Evidence, maybe, that nobody has done it better in the nearly 2,000 years since the Pantheon’s construction.